83 Fairlane 32 flybridge sedan

Forum for those owners restoring a Fairline.
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Re: 83 Fairlane 32 flybridge sedan

Postby Gyula Huszar » Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:02 am

Adding to the post above, I'd like to talk a little more about the experience of coming back to the Lower Mainland in 4-7 foot seas. I'm fortunate in that I'm not inclined to fear or anxiety, so I view situations like I faced on Monday as a challenge, and quite frankly, fun. I was able to use my senses and reasoning ability to the max once I realized that conditions weren't getting any better the further out into the strait I was.

Here's what I learned. Boats are small. Compared to the sea our vessels are puny. No matter how much power you have, rough seas will make a slowpoke out of you. Don't panic, panic will kill you. Letting the boat do its boat thing (bob up and down in the waves) is better than 'punching through' waves that are higher than your deck. Heading down into a trough without being off the perpendicular by a good degree will bury your boat. The first 5 things I've mentioned are now self-evident truths in my mind since I've experienced them first-hand. I never thought that hitting a trough head on would be a good idea, so I didn't.

I also discovered that my primary source of weather information wasn't good enough. When I was fully out into the strait, equidistant from my origin and my destination, the coast guard put out a storm warning for my area. I thought that I might avoid the full brunt of the weather by going around Bowen Island, but I then heard that Howe Sound had issued a gale force wind warning, so I didn't venture there. Instead I turned away from the wind, since I had to tack upwind and ended up west of my course and the wind was blowing toward the east, and I discovered that I could stay inside of a couple of waves and surf to my destination.
I ran just a little faster than the wave speed, maybe a knot, so that I was climbing up the back side of one wave and sliding down the front of it after cresting the thing. I've read that that's not so smart, but it was fun. The speed on the gps was over 17 knots average. The wind must have been 30 or more, but it was behind me and pushing me exactly where I wanted to go.

I've found an Environment Canada website that described the conditions of that day to a tee. It had a 24 hour archive too, so I pored over the entries relating to all of the areas I had just motored through, and it was accurate. It will be the primary source of marine weather information from now on.

And I'll keep my radio on Channel 16.
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Re: 83 Fairlane 32 flybridge sedan

Postby Gyula Huszar » Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:45 am

Here's a heads up if you have DPS drives. Volvo has 'upgraded' the D series props and now sells the I series. I've called The Prop Shop in Washington and they say they've had nothing but problems with the I series, and I guess that is because the blades break off, since one did off of mine. The thickness of the blade is much reduced on the I series, and that must be why they can't take the strain. I will now have D series props on both sides and both will be the D4s. The Is were I3s and had a shallower pitch. Hope to save fuel.

I am now going to reseal my hatch with some Wurth brand joint and seal sealer. I've removed it from the boat so that I can do the best job possible. The glass shop next to me seemed kind of averse to doing it, so it's up to me once again. I'm going to prep the surfaces carefully and spray some etching spray on the immediate area, masked off, and that should give the sealant a good surface to bite into. JMHO. Can't be worse than what's there now.
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Re: 83 Fairlane 32 flybridge sedan

Postby Gyula Huszar » Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:45 am

"I ran just a little faster than the wave speed, maybe a knot, so that I was climbing up the back side of one wave and sliding down the front of it after cresting the thing. I've read that that's not so smart, but it was fun."

So, I've done a bunch of 'internet research' about what causes capsizing and I found out why it is that what I did that day is 'not so smart'. It seems that when you are popping over the crest of a big wave under those conditions the props and drives might come out of the water, and that besides the engines being in danger of overspeeding and grenading, control will be lost, as in all control. The boat will probably slew sideways presenting the side of the boat to the next wave coming in, and that could do it. It'll happen in a few seconds of course, so unless providence is on your side that day you'll probably have a very bad day, maybe your last.

The subject of capsizing was so interesting that I read for a couple of hours and thought about my personal experiences and juxtaposed them with the experiences of others. One thing that was worthy of note was that life jackets not only act as flotation, they could also act as a protective garment to keep the wearer from bashing about inside the boat and hurting themselves. Didn't think of that one. Another great suggestion was having an 'Oh SHIT!' bag that could be snatched up in the case that getting off the boat was necessary. It should have the usual goodies in it, like a waterproof VHF radio that floats and has a gps transmitter, flares, flashlights (that float), airhorns and whistles. And a mirror. Just another bunch of things to get for the voyages to come.
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Re: 83 Fairlane 32 flybridge sedan

Postby Gyula Huszar » Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:55 am

Now that I'm somewhat experienced as far as what's going on with the mechanicals, electrical system, steering gear, props and stuff like that, and because I've crossed the Salish Sea and experienced poor weather firsthand, I'm feeling pretty good about my chances of making port and returning unharmed.
It's a better feeling than the anticipation of doing something inherently dangerous for the first time and surviving the experience, although the exhilaration of knowing you'll be seeing another sunrise is hard to beat.
To add to my already impressive (to me) knowledge of seamanship on Playmaker I attended and passed the radio course over the weekend. I'm now licensed to ask for such things as weather updates, a slip for the night and to call for assistance. Here's something to consider; if you need help because your boat's sinking or on fire or something else that would cause you to abandon ship, you'd like to be rescued as quickly as possible. If you're able to transmit your position, nature of your emergency, number of people needing rescue and other such pertinent information to a coast guard station before deboating you'll be plucked from the jaws of death sooner than if they don't know where you are or if you should need assistance at all.

So, for the next part of my 'project' Fairline upgrade I'll be investing in a radio with a 'panic' button (transmits position until it's no longer able), a buoyant hand-held vhf radio with gps, an 'EPIRB' mounted to the boat which automatically deploys and transmits a distress signal with the particulars of the vessel and the location should it be immersed in the water. Next I'll be conducting 'man overboard', fire and deboating drills with my better half. She's always with me wherever the boat goes. She's already learned how to drive and dock the boat, just in case. Can't be too prepared.
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Re: 83 Fairlane 32 flybridge sedan

Postby Murv » Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:31 am

Well done, sounds like you're really getting to grips with everything, can't be too prepared, as you say!
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Re: 83 Fairlane 32 flybridge sedan

Postby Gyula Huszar » Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:07 pm

Thank you, Murv, for your kind comments. It's good to know someone's reading my posts, and hopefully someone will twig to some comment of mine that causes them to prepare themselves or their boat better than they otherwise would have. As I posited at the beginning of this thread, "every seasoned boat is a bit of a project", and lots of older boats like mine are bought by people with stars in their eyes and limited knowledge and capability, like me. I've always been of the opinion that the only way to truly understand something is to 'stick both hands into the guts of it and swish them around in there'. I'm fortunate in that I'm a mechanic with his own shop, have 61 years of life experience, and have a healthy respect for the vagaries of machine integrity and the unknown. As I go along, learning, planning, experiencing this new universe that is boating I realize more and more that our youth have been cheated or insulated from learning how to learn, taught that you should do nothing until directed by someone else. It's a huge pity.
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Re: 83 Fairlane 32 flybridge sedan

Postby Gyula Huszar » Sat Dec 16, 2017 2:03 am

Adding to the electronics on board; a Garmin gps for the upper helm. I think I'm going to mount it flush into the dash. I like to not run aground, and the main gps is in the lower station. Now I can have 2 dedicated chartplotters, one for each station. The tablet is ok, but it sucks in the sun. And this one's got the vision g2 software that I like so much. Cheap buy at $300.
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gps.jpg
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Re: 83 Fairlane 32 flybridge sedan

Postby TurboRoss » Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:13 pm

Nice looking boat and I've enjoyed reading your threads

:D
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Re: 83 Fairlane 32 flybridge sedan

Postby Gyula Huszar » Fri May 25, 2018 1:45 am

Well, another project, another lesson. I very carefully glued on some davits onto my tender, taking all precautions and complying with all the directions. I suspected that since I had done such a careful and perfect job that I could leave the outboard mounted on the transom and flip the whole works up and secure it with the standoff rods. I was concerned about the distortion around the glued on rear davit, due to the weight of the boat/engine assembly, but that wasn't going to stop me from taking it out on a trial run to Keats Island. It was a bit choppy out there, and the boat was buffeted by it, but I soldiered on. About 10 nm out the davit let go on the inflatable and the rear of the thing was dragging in the water. I hoisted the motor off and plopped the tender onto the swimgrid as I had done before and continued on.
What I've learned is that those glued on rubber davits can't take the pounding with that much weight on it. So, I found a solution! It's called a 'transom arc', and it's made by the same company, Weaver, that makes the rest of the system, and it screws onto the transom of the little boat and 'arcs' over the tube and attaches to the same clip already on the boat. It's made to take the weight of the motor and tender and to be easily deployed in case of emergency. Just unclip the standoff rods and unclip the transom arc and front davit and you're off. Maybe a 30 second effort, start to finish. I like that. And I have a new VHF radio with a 'panic' button that will transmit my exact gps location and information about the boat to the emergency channel and help. I feel safer all the time.
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Re: 83 Fairlane 32 flybridge sedan

Postby Gyula Huszar » Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:52 pm

Posting a couple of pics of the transom arc mounted and the first pic is of the actual tender fitment on 'Playmaker 2', taken from the flybridge, and the second pic is a pic taken from the web to show detail. This is a great solution, and it takes under 20 seconds to launch. Exiting off of the swimgrid is made easier because the standoff rods come off one at a time for easy access for those with injuries and age related issues.
arc 2.jpg

arc 1.jpg
arc 1.jpg (6.72 KiB) Viewed 1066 times
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Re: 83 Fairlane 32 flybridge sedan

Postby Murv » Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:58 am

That looks like an interesting system, certainly an impressive launch time!
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Re: 83 Fairlane 32 flybridge sedan

Postby Gyula Huszar » Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:01 am

Projects seemingly pop up like whack-a-mole around boating. Four of us took 9 days and circumnavigated Cortez Island; visited a few spots with supplies and people and spent quite a bit of time at anchor in different pristine locations. Beautiful. A few things came up though, requiring more 'project' work. Firstly, my starboard engine started losing coolant. 5 litres worth in 80 nm. The gauges showed nothing amiss, but I always check everything in the machinery bay at every fuel stop. I filled it and saw no external leakage anywhere, so I filled the reservoir and continued on another 20 nm. I checked the level again and found it about 1 l. low. Still seeing no external loss I had to assume that it was going into the seawater side of the heat exchanger and out into the briny deep, so I put a bottle and a half of coolant stop leak into that side's reservoir and voila, no more leak. In spite of this small victory I've gotten an appointment to pull the boat on Thursday and I'll be removing the heat exchangers and bringing them to the specialist for repairs.
On the way back from points north my certified captain buddy drove the boat up onto the shoals a mile and a half offshore since our charts missed that particular piece of coastline and both gps were not acquiring. We were navigating by apple phone, and there's no depth markings on the map we used. I was assured that we needn't worry by my buddy, but when we ran up onto the shoals at 15 knots and the bow dropped down and our speed to 0 I was a bit curious as to why the funny sound and the sudden change in attitude and speed.
Upon seeing the shoal 3 feet under the water at the back of 'Playmaker' I deduced what had happened, and since nobody else wanted to address the situation, I had my buddy raise the legs to 45 degrees and come off the shoal into deeper water. I checked the engine bay for water coming in as well as the other holds but we were floating ok. I babied the boat through foul weather to the next available marina in Comox. Oh, and by the way, the anchor chain jumped off the gypsy and started deploying itself because of the battering we were taking. Thank goodness for the arrester rope that I always attach to the anchor, or we might have been dealing with even more fun and games than we already were. I went out onto the pitching deck and fed the anchor chain back into the locker.
My lady was less than pleased about the recent events, and she left the boat, declared that she's not getting on board again, and certainly not crossing Georgia Strait for the trip back home. She took a floatplane back to civilization and left me and the other two to make the transit without her. I put on the two sets of spare props in Comox, and we left early in the am before the weather gods woke up to play tricks on us. We were in the boathouse in North Vancouver before noon, even though I only went 15.5 knots.
I went to the forward cabin and passed out. 5 and a half hours of hypervigilance, watching for wood, listening to the engines, watching the gauges, will take a day out of you.
I'll tell you what the main takeaway was for me as it relates to Fairlines. These are robust boats, made to take punishment and likely to get you there alive no matter the circumstances.
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Re: 83 Fairlane 32 flybridge sedan

Postby Gyula Huszar » Sun Jul 22, 2018 2:56 am

IMG_0419.JPG
I've got Playmaker up on the hard and the drive up onto the shoals didn't do any bigtime damage. The itty bitty keel got a bit of a shave, and the skegs on the drives are a little worse for wear, but overall, not too bad. The through hulls all look good, so I'm relieved somewhat. I took the heat exchangers out and disassembled them to inspect them, and a pressure test on the starboard exchanger revealed a leak into 3 of the tubes. I've got my feelers out at the local boilermaker shops around and I'm hoping to find someone willing to retube them.
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Re: 83 Fairlane 32 flybridge sedan

Postby Gyula Huszar » Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:28 pm

Well then, looks like the shops around here want to plug the leaking tubes and leave the rest. I don't have a great deal of confidence that this is a long term solution, so I spoke to my favorite parts guy and he's ordered a new heat exchanger for me, and I'll get the other a little further down the road. This was an expensive trip to Desolation. Fuel, $2000; props $1000; heat exchanger; $1700; incidentals; $1200; upper drive to lower drive couplings; $1000 to pull the boat for a bit, etc. $7000 plus the usual moorage, insurance, blah blah blah. I'm lucky if I got $5500 worth of joy from the exercise, so my math tells me I'm out more than $1500.

I was going to address the heat exchangers this year anyway, so c'est la vie.

On the positive side, my lady has decided to move on, so I'll be saving $thousands every month by not having to provide for her. There's always a silver lining to every cloud!
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Re: 83 Fairlane 32 flybridge sedan

Postby Gyula Huszar » Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:58 am

Well, I painted the lower legs, replaced the the driveshaft shear connectors on the upper to lower drives, replaced the sea water impellers, replaced one serpentine belt, had one of my not-so-bad prop sets repaired, replaced the heat exchangers and I think I'm done for this year as far as repairs go. My parts supplier found a place in Washington that makes the exact exchangers that I needed. And at reasonable cost.
I wonder what more I could have done today; oh yeah, I rebuilt a 78 VW van transmission. I had to do something while the paint dried. I'm not feeling well today (flu), but I'm still happy with what little I've accomplished.
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